15 May Why storytelling matters in modern branding
What comes to mind when you think of branding? A logo? A sign or brochure? Having consistent fonts, colors, and graphics?
While these elements play an important role in branding your corporate identity, successful branding for today’s market requires a comprehensive strategy for forging a personal connection with consumers—one that taps into their imagination and emotion. It requires captivating imagery, relatable characters, and a compelling plot.
And if that sounds a lot like a story to you…that’s because it is.
Stories Start with Connection
The modern consumer is relationship and experience oriented, which means that branding just won’t be effective if it’s piecemeal or anything less than immersive. This gives rise, however, to an unprecedented opportunity to create brand loyalty by connecting with clients on:
- Multiple levels: One-note relationships eventually fizzle out, but brand loyalty is enhanced when the appeal is emotional as well as intellectual or practical. Businesses that tap into the imagination will compel clients to action far more quickly and frequently than those who rely solely on relaying factual information about a product.
- Multiple platforms: Studies show multi-channel marketing to be an increasingly impactful strategy for growth in sales and profitability. Customers want to see your product or service from different angles, in a variety of settings, through diverse methods of presentation. But they want each one of those touchpoints to contribute to one consistent picture of what your brand is about and how it can fit into their lives.
- Multiple occasions: When they surf the web or check their email. When they open their mailbox. When they walk into your office. When they visit your booth at an event. Repeated exposure to consistent branding reinforces the idea that your brand is part of your customers’ lives. Brand loyalty grows when you share your story often enough that it becomes part of their story.
Leveraging Your Story for Customer Engagement
Customers feel connected with your brand on a personal level when your narrative is interwoven with theirs. Here are a few steps to get you there:
- Know your own voice: Traditional marketing focuses on what you offer. While it sometimes ventures into the how, all too often the why is left untouched. This is where the story starts. When a customer knows who you are, what you believe in, and why you do what you do, their concept of your business shifts from the merely transactional to the personal. This is where connections are made.
- Be consistent: When your story is consistent and clear, your brand will be instantly recognizable; all of the emotion and connection you have generated will come to mind each time your customer hears your name or sees your logo or product. This means that everything counts—from catalog to business card and every trade show in between—and it all has to make sense as a complete and consistent story.
- Maximize the voice of your customer: As with any story, the author’s intent is only half the equation; the other half is the interpretation of the story by the reader—your consumer. Stories live on beyond the teller in the feelings, perceptions, and reactions of those who hear it, so the more you can invite your reader in, the more your marketing becomes an engaging conversation instead of a static sales pitch.
In the world of modern marketing, inspiration matters as much as information; people don’t just buy products or services anymore—they buy you, with all of your passion and vision and values. Storytelling bridges the gap between you and your client base, forming a connection that grows into loyalty when you share a consistent and well-told story that the customer has helped to write.
Illustrated Designs, Inc. has been at the forefront of the marketing industry for 30+ years. From design to execution, their innovative design team develops catalogs, event décor, printed materials, 3-D displays, and more.